56,210 Gallons = $952
83,220 GALLONS = $1452
Finding & Measuring leaks
When it comes to leaks, we often hear the words “but it’s just a little leak.” Unfortunately, those little leaks can become very expensive. Please read the stories below. (The bill amounts have been updated using 2019 rates and assumes the average residential consumption is 12,000 gallons per quarter.)
While paying a water and sewer bill of $475 for 90 days use, a customer mentioned that the house rule to “rattle the handle” after a flush was a costly mistake. In this case, the plunger ball wasn’t aligned properly and one family member didn’t always follow the rule. The toilet ran continuously for up to 4 hours on almost all school days for about 45 days. This wasted 20,000 gallons of water.
A customer said, “I know the toilet was leaking, but it can’t cost $1,498 for 3 months!” This leak wasted approximately 92,000 gallons of water.
The Public Service Commission was contacted about a high water bill. A family was away on extended vacation when a toilet leak developed. The toilet leaked continuously for about 60 days. A 3/8” diameter line was feeding the toilet. Approximately 85,000 gallons of water leaked through the overflow and the bill was $1,398.
A customer reported that every few hours his toilet seemed to flush itself. This was caused by the tank refilling after the water leaked around the plunger ball. Our service people found the problem and the customer had it repaired quickly. The amount of water wasted was 26,000 gallons and the water and sewer bill was $561.
Use a spray nozzle on your hose. If this is an adjustable type, the water can be turned down to a fine spray. When finished using the hose, turn the water off at the faucet instead of the nozzle — this will help control leaks. Sweep off your driveway and sidewalk with a broom or use a blower — do NOT use the hose.
Water plants only when needed. Soaker hoses use less water than overhead sprinklers. Turn the soaker hose upside down (so that the holes are facing down). This will help to avoid evaporation. Remove weeds — they steal water from other plants. Use organic mulches (such as woodchips, shredded bark, grass clippings, straw, hay, leaves, or compost) — to retain moisture.
Cover the pool or spa to prevent evaporation and to keep the water cleaner. To avoid water going over the sides, do not overfill. Install a water-saving pool filter — traditional filters use 180-250 gallons of water. Do not drain pools/spas unless repair work is needed.
Rain gardens are a more natural landscape that uses wildflowers and other native plants. The native plants are low maintenance, use a lot less water, and do not require fertilizers. Due to their deep root system, native plants help the environment by increasing the soil’s ability to store water, reducing runoff (flooding), and providing a habitat for birds and butterflies. The DNR provides a lot of information about Rain Gardens.
Use a bucket or a rain barrel to catch and store fresh rainwater from your rooftop. Then use this water for washing your car or for watering your lawn, garden, trees, and plants. Rainwater is better for your plants because it is not chlorinated. If you put a screen over your bucket, this will keep the insects out and keep mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the rainwater.
Learn more about rain barrels and the Waukesha Water Utility rain barrel rebate program here.